Augmented reality glasses and virtual environments are quite popular in gaming and entertainment, but so far, industrial applications of the technology remain understated. Nevertheless, AR has the potential to transform how people view and process information, making it an important tool in nearly all global business sectors. By combining head-mounted displays with a web-based interface, AR technology can be used to transmit visual images, access training material, and receive virtual instructions remotely.
Below, we highlight three ways that augmented reality technology can be leveraged in the shipping industry:
1.Remote Maintenance, Inspection, and Troubleshooting
To keep all parts fully functional and pre-empt engine failure, ships require regular maintenance. It is also essential to conduct routine inspections and troubleshooting exercises according to laid-down regulations. Previously, these checks can only be done physically, and a specialist must be flown to the ship’s physical location. Augmented reality, however, makes remote inspections possible.
The ship’s Engineer simply has to collaborate with a specialist via an online platform, wear AR glasses, and follow the expert’s lead. For example, SEAHARMONY, a leading provider of AR technology in the maritime industry, offers shipowners the opportunity to conduct Navigation Assessment remotely.
2.More Immersive Training Exercises
AR technology can be used to create realistic training environments and simulate real-life situations. This makes the exercise more immersive, and trainees can hone their skills in highly challenging virtual environments. Using augmented reality, inexperienced ship engineers can learn industry best-practices without pressure and improve their composure and response times in case of future emergencies. The training modules may also be saved, optimized over time, and utilized repeatedly.
Some years ago, Verizon used AR headsets during a training exercise for technicians. The devices allowed participants to learn new skills while recording their activities as new training content. As a result, they were able to acquire mastery over specifics tasks and, at the same time, create a library of content that could be used to train new employees in the future.
3.Streamline Operations and Reduce Costs
Since shore-based specialists and the crew aboard a ship can now collaborate seamlessly to address emergencies, troubleshoot engine problems, and carry out regulatory assessments, augmented reality opens up a world of possibilities for the maritime sector.
The results of previous maintenance checks can be stored online, allowing the ship’s Engineer to benchmark past and future vessel condition. A vessel in trouble offshore can be assisted by experts from the comforts of their offices, and the extra costs associated with these consultations are cut out. No need to fly the experts across the world, lodge them in hotels, or hire a speedboat that’ll take them to the ship.
As adoption increases and more AR use-cases are established for the shipping industry, the technology has the potential to further enhance the safety, operational capacity, and productivity of all participants in the sector.